Look out everyone, Daylight Saving's Time is just around the corner.
On Sunday, Mar. 11, we'll all turn our clocks forward one hour at 2:00 a.m....assuming we're still awake.
But that one hour change can do more than screw up your schedule and make you unknowingly late for a Sunday appointment. According to Charles Czeisler, the Director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, it can also increase your risk of heart attacks and fatal car crashes.
In a panel discussion with Alana Kornfeld, Healthy Living editor of the Huffington Post, Czeisler said an analysis of nationwide accident data shows that on the Monday following the time change, there is a six percent increase in the risk of car crashes on the nation's highways, and a 17 percent increase in risk of fatal car crashes. The opposite effect is observed, he added, when Daylight Savings Time ends in November.
“We don't think of [reducing sleep] as increasing our risk of cardiovascular, accidents and motor vehicle crashes, and potentially increasing the risk of metabolic disorders that lead to diabetes," Czeisler said. "But that is how sensitive the biology of our system is to this.”
Be careful on your drive to work on Monday!